Beyond Interoperability: Data Activation and Artificial Intelligence for Healthcare

Abhinav Shashank
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The world of healthcare is changing, and with it, our approach to understanding the concept of patients and doctors, ways of delivering care, and building a better relationship between every member associated with it is also changing. Like other industries, healthcare is also going through a major revolution, and Artificial Intelligence (AI) stands at the core of it.

Biological sciences and medical research are rapidly changing fields. Each day, we witness advances in genomics, imaging, and pharmacology, and we are now hearing about the use of Artificial Intelligence to drive these advances. However, how much of the AI story is hype, and how much is real?

How is AI the answer to a plethora of healthcare problems?

According to a report, the overall AI market is projected to grow from 2016 at a compounded annual growth rate of 62.9%, reaching $16.6 billion by 2022 and AI for healthcare is expected to be a significant driving force. Healthcare is bestowed with the goldmine of data. The only need here is to harness the true potential of it. The major areas that will be affected by AI in the days to come include:

  • Adopting a data-driven approach to improve the quality of care across the network
  • Generating real-time insights to improve the decision-making process
  • Boosting the human element in the healthcare space

Be it precision medicine, diagnostics, imaging, or anything else; there are a lot of expectations of AI for healthcare. However, for AI models to get better, there is a need to keep feeding it with data, the right data.

Can healthcare achieve the level of efficiency that the automobile industry achieved?

In terms of achieving operational efficiency with the use of Artificial Intelligence and automation, nothing can beat the progress that the automobile industry made. From leveraging hundreds of arms into performing one task, they remodeled the process into utilizing few hands performing multiple activities.

For a sector that is aiming at reducing costs and improving efficiency, healthcare has a number of opportunities where AI can be an important part, such as:

  • Performing robot-assisted surgeries with a negligible scope of errors
  • Connecting multiple systems like never before
  • Ensuring healthcare data flow across the network with zero loss and 100% efficiency
  • Detecting frauds and errors in the system
  • Conducting AI-assisted diagnosis to enhance lab and tests accuracy

… and, most importantly, assisting doctors to do what they do best- deliver patient-centric care!

What AI and Machine Learning has to offer to healthcare?

According to an IDC report, the spending on AI and ML is expected to grow from $12 billion in 2017 to $57.6 billion by 2021, registering a CAGR of 48%. From evaluating job applicants on their emerging strengths to creating a self-service AI platform that learns from analytics, machine learning is a fascinating avenue. And we know we had to bring machine learning to healthcare to fulfill the dream of intelligent healthcare.

The talks about AI replacing the human essence of healthcare are baseless, and no technology has the potential to do this. However, AI can be the most-needed helping hand that can augment providers and can help them to improve the processes.

A lot of healthcare experts have given consumer experience the top priority. With AI, we can power innovative medical research and build an efficient care-delivery mechanism. From genome sequencing to finding cures for acute diseases, AI has a lot of potentials.

Whether it be predicting the future cost of care of patients or addressing the social determinants of health, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning can open new ways to achieve the best clinical and non-clinical outcomes.

The road ahead

Healthcare technology was never meant to overwhelm the physicians, and yet, that’s precisely what EHRs did. AI has the potential to turn the tides. By leveraging Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, healthcare can finally move on from exhaustive tasks and cumbersome processes to the world of digitally-assisted streamlined workflows. What we need now is to understand its need, analyze the space, and implement proven strategies to build a healthcare world where the best technologies are within the reach of providers and are aimed to deliver the best care that our patients deserve.

Healthcare needs a combination of Artificial Intelligence and data activation to eliminate existing complications in space.

Dr. Peter Lee, Corporate Vice President, Microsoft Healthcare, and Stephen K. Klasko MD, MBA, President and CEO, President & CEO, Thomas Jefferson University & Jefferson Health, will be discussing the future of AI in the healthcare space and what amazing things can be achieved with them in a webinar, titled “Beyond Interoperability: Data Activation and Artificial Intelligence for Healthcare,” on June 20. Register here.

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